Over the years I've heard many variations on the theme that Fred would rather shut FedEx down than have us go union. Some of my detractors on the BC are particularly fond of saying that Fred would do this. Although I've never actually seen evidence of Smith saying it, it wouldn't surprise me. It would just be another thinly veiled threat designed to scare and intimidate employees. It wouldn't matter that it's illegal to say we'd lose our jobs, but legal matters don't seem to impede Mr.Smith, do they? Reality says that Smith is bluffing, and here's why. In 1989, Smith forced all Flying Tigers employees to de-certify...or lose their jobs. All of them did, except the flight attendants. Within months, Fred shut down the highly profitable passenger charter operations of Tigers and those pesky union members were history. But only for a short time. A few years later, the pilots formed an in-house union, primarily to protect themselves from Smith. This proved to be a weak organization, and Fred continued to play games with them. Eventually, FedEx pilots joined ALPA, and have become among the highest-paid professionals in the industry. Smith threatened them during negotiations too, and he eventually caved. our pilots have a real retirement plan too..not the PPP. If the RLA exemption gets tossed we can expect a firestorm of rhetoric about "losing our jobs". In fact, it's already started in Colorado, a strong indicator that FedEx is very worried they are going to lose. Never mind that they aren't supposed to be doing it. We still would have to vote the union in and force Smith to the bargaining table, which would unleash more threats, mis-information and venom. There's also the possibility that Fred will "throw us a bone" in the form of a hefty raise that would still fall short of Teamster wages, but would save FedEx big money. He might also try to weasel out of a retirement package and try to retain the PPP in this manner. I don't think we would be that easy to replace. Like UPS drivers, FedEx couriers are highly trained and efficient. You can't pull someone off the street and make them competent in a few weeks without throwing the entire system into utter chaos. Smith will have to negotiate because he can't afford a large scale defection of customers to UPS. Don't let the threats scare you. Bullies rely on them, and when their bluff eventually gets called (or someone beats them up) they fold like a house of cards. Fred is on shaky ground, and he's going to huff and puff a lot in the coming months. He needs us more than we need him.